Media

How the #HelloChallenge brought Mzansi closer

Does the internet have the potential to unite people? Or does it merely alienate and isolate its users? It’s a debate that continues to rage on as internet usage increases and more people become netizens. A social media prank that has captured the interest of South Africans proves that the former is possible. It began…

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Facebook helps restore our humanity (at times)

I am 52 and come from a generation where one can be bewildered by, and dismissive of, the proliferation of instantly accessible information (not knowledge, there are important differences) online. This is often in my hand or in my pocket in the form of my Android. However, I use the social media to my advantage,…

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#FeesMustFall: A movement of shares, likes, tweets and posts

In 2011 Chilean students began a protest movement to challenge the education system of their country. Known as the “Chilean Winter”, their dissatisfaction poured onto social media platforms. The students leveraged these sites to great effect to mobilise fellow academics, draw international support and express their own narratives which were ignored by the media. Fast-forward…

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The lie that society is founded on

In Living in the End Times (London: Verso, 2010) that inimitable Slovenian philosopher cum psychoanalytical theorist Slavoj Žižek performs a dazzling analysis of Christopher Nolan’s genealogical Batman film The Dark Knight (2008). What his analysis brings to light is something that, Žižek reminds one, John Ford also explored cinematically years ago in Fort Apache (1948)…

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The illusions of Facebook

At the recent South African Communication Association conference at the Afda campus in Cape Town I was astonished at the level of naïveté about the use of Facebook on the part of academics and students alike. On the one hand there were those who regard it as a mere tool for communicating with friends and…

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The People vs Peeple: A case study in how not to create an app

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people could be united through friendship and positivity? These intentions motivated the creation of Peeple, a mobile application that would allow people to rate other people (on a scale of 1 to 5 stars) on their personal, professional and romantic appeal. A sort of Hellopeter but for…

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The Khumbul’ekhaya phenomenon as symbolic suicide

By Thirusha Naidu and Andiswa Mankayi One day Mrs Lolo left. It was not a special or a different day. Now it became the day that Mrs Lolo left, perhaps forever. If you met Mrs Lolo on the path to the taxi stop that day you would not have guessed that it would be 30…

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SA’s ‘trade union corset’: A response to William Saunderson-Meyer

By Darcy du Toit I read William Saunderson-Meyer’s blog “Time to ease the trade union corset that confines SA” with a jaundiced eye. I am quoted as “warning”, at the International Society for Labour and Social Security Law congress in Cape Town last week, “that while the basic principles of labour law remain unaltered, the…

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Emmys give hope, but TV still suffers lack of diversity

It was unfortunate that the excellent Mad Men was not awarded outstanding drama series at last night’s Emmy Awards. An opportunity missed to give the series, which aired its last episode in May this year after seven seasons, a fine sending off, much like Breaking Bad had last year. Mad Men’s depiction of American life…

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News24 right to axe online comments

Earlier this month News24, the country’s largest online news publisher, took a decision not to allow readers to post comments on all but a few select articles. According to its editor-in-chief Andrew Trench, too many commentators insisted on “pushing the boundaries of free speech”, with the result that comments “tediously drift towards hate speech at…

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